Even for the best companies, a customer may decide to leave and go to the competitor instead. For anyone who owns or runs the company, it feels like when you see your favorite player leave the team you’re cheering for, to start playing in another team. It’s like some of you have died … The happy news is that no dramatic action is required to get the customer back.
Statistics show that in most cases customer dropout could have been avoided. With churn management, thus working to avoid these customer failures, you can detect the warning signals before the customer leaves. But if the customer has already left, does that mean you lost the customer forever?
No, you haven’t, and successful scenarios where customers come back really pay back. In a case study from 2015 that contained 53,000 customers, the average customer life cycle increased by 11%. It has also shown that by increasing customer loyalty by 5%, profitability can be raised from 25% to 95%.
There are strategies to help you win back customers. We have put together a checklist of different measures. In the end, not all relationships have been broken, see instead that a relationship has been temporarily put on hold. Actually, the customer’s journey has been extended. You are still the one who knows your (former) customer better than any of your competitors. So take advantage of the information you already have and bring the relationship to life.
1. Continue listening to them.
If you know what made the customer decide to buy your goods or services, this is to your advantage. What convinced them? This is one reason why it is good to have answers from surveys that you collected at an early stage in the customer’s life cycle.
Collect detailed information such as how satisfied they are with the various product features, the price, and customer service. In 89% of cases, it is actually a poor customer service experience that is the top reason a customer leaves.
This reinforces the importance of customer engagement. Customer service is much more comprehensive than we thought. Just because the contract is signed does not mean that we can now go and rest. It is rather just the beginning of the journey. Having a competent customer service is the most important thing for customer engagement. The companies that are aware of the importance of customer service have often renamed the team a “customer success center”. A single customer question complements the customer image and opens up new opportunities.
2. Communicate value.
As in all relationships, a customer wants to feel important and valuable. Logically, customers need to feel that the company is really mourning a loss if they leave. More than 40% of lost customers are willing to return if they notice increased commitment from the company (for example, they are offered discounts or upgrades).
Prior to this, customers must be treated as leads in order to simplify their decision-making process. Use customized messages that meet customers’ individual needs, which have proven to be the most effective way to get customers back (for example through automatic marketing and remarketing). Individualized marketing is really the key to a long-lasting customer relationship.
3. Do it as efficiently as possible.
Every customer is counted but as you already understand it will cost some money and energy to win back customers. Therefore, it is important to prioritize those customers where there is a high chance that they will return. In general, it has been found that the customers who left because the price was too high have a higher probability of coming back compared to those who left because of poor service. The more reasons the customer has to leave, the worse the possibility that the customer will return.
4. But when they come back….
… Make sure they stay – forever. If you have done your homework, you have now learned even more about the customer, which you can use to improve your relationship. Even if you have already understood the benefits of winning back customers, you have certainly gained a new view of the customers you have.
A customer’s life cycle offers many opportunities to collect valuable data, if you do it correctly. Avoid creating “yet another customer satisfaction survey”. Focus on long-term relationships with a high response rate and reaching customers at all levels. Based on this, focus on developing a commitment. Account management should focus on product development and customer service should focus on improving the overall customer experience. You can also go a step further and turn customers into ambassadors. Studies show that 83% of potential customers trust companies that are recommended by someone they know.